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The Best NBC Dramas of All Time 

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Updated March 24, 2020 14.3k votes 1.1k voters 8.8k views 51 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite drama series that originally aired on NBC.

NBC dramas are some of the most stimulating programs in television history. Dramas on NBC may be high-tech and filled with imaginative stories, but the network itself stemmed from humble beginnings. Shows like Law & Order: SVU, The West Wing, Freaks & Geeks, The Night Shift, and Cheers would not be around today if not for NBC. 

David Sarnoff and NBC presented the first television at New York's World Fair in the late 1930's, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president to appear on national television in front of the NBC cameras in 1939. NBC was also the first station to introduce color programming to their viewers, beating CBS and DuMont Television Network by only a few days. Today, NBC remains one of the top contenders in network television. 

The transmission of moving images through television has allowed the public to live vicariously through fantasy stories, as well as see themselves reflected in both real and imagined characters.  NBC has a variety of dramas to choose from, and has continued to produce great content since its inception.   

Vote for your favorite NBC drama below! If you don't see your favorite show on the list, feel free to add it. 

 
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1
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

Premiered: 1990

Number of Seasons: 20

Number of Episodes: 456

Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by Dick Wolf and part of the Law & Order franchise. It originally aired on NBC and, in ...more

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#194 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch All The Detectives From 'Law & Order,' Rankedlisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

2
Law & Order: Special... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Richard Belzer

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 21

Number of Episodes: 474

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 1999) is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City. In the style of the original Law & Order, ...more

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#60 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch Behind-The-Scenes Secrets From 'Law & Order: SVU' That'll Make The Theme Song Play In Your Headlisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

3
ER is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

Premiered: 1994

Number of Seasons: 15

Number of Episodes: 331

ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994, to April 2, 2009. It was produced by Constant c Productions and ...more

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#126 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch The Best Seasons of ERlisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

4
Star Trek: The Original ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

Premiered: 1966

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 79

Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise and its crew. It later acquired the retronym of ...more

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#9 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #27 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

5
Cheers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
peanuts added Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

Premiered: 1982

Number of Seasons: 11

Number of Episodes: 273

Cheers is an American sitcom that ran for eleven seasons between 1982 and 1993. The show was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television for ...more

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#54 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch Behind The Scenes Secrets From The Set Of 'Cheers'listed on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

6
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan

Premiered: 1968

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 69

Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more

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#145 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #9 of 219 The Best TV Characters Of The '80s The Best Seasons of Columbo

7
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 95

Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons, from March 1989 through May 1993. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, it starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam ...more

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#184 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #11 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

8
The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
George Peppard, Mr. T, Dwight Schultz

Premiered: 1983

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 98

The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about a fictional group of ex–U.S. Army personnel who escape and, while still on the run from the army, ...more

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9
The Virginian is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
RobLein added Doug McClure, James Drury, Lee J. Cobb

Premiered: 1962

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 249

The Virginian is an American Western television series starring James Drury and Doug McClure which aired on NBC from 1962 to 1971 for a total of 249 episodes. It was a spin-off from a 1958 ...more

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#408 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #123 of 247 The Very Best Shows That Aired in the 1960s #2 of 97 The Best Western TV Shows

10
Alfred Hitchcock Present... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams

Premiered: 1955

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 361

Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the time the show premiered on October ...more

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#7 of 70 The Creepiest Shows In TV History #78 of 263 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

11
Knight Rider is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Richard Basehart

Premiered: 1982

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 90

Knight Rider is an American television series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to August 8, 1986. The series was broadcast on NBC and stars David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a ...more

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#59 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #67 of 312 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

12
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff

Premiered: 2013

The Blacklist is an American crime drama television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former U.S Navy officer turned high-profile ...more

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#30 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #7 of 132 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows Ranking the Best Seasons of 'The Blacklist'

13
St. Elsewhere is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Ed Begley Jr., William Daniels, Howie Mandel

Premiered: 1982

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 137

St. Elsewhere is an American medical drama black comedy television series that originally ran on NBC from October 26, 1982, to May 25, 1988. The series starred Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd and ...more

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#386 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #48 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

14
Bonanza is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker

Premiered: 1959

Number of Seasons: 14

Number of Episodes: 430

Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 12, 1959, to January 16, 1973. Lasting 14 seasons and 430 episodes, it ranks as the second longest running western series, and ...more

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#53 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #97 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time The Greatest Sheriffs In TV History

15
Grimm is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 44

Grimm is an American police procedural fantasy television drama series. It debuted in the U.S. on NBC on October 28, 2011. The show has been described as "a cop drama—with a twist... a dark ...more

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16
The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos

Premiered: 1974

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 123

The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974, and January 10, 1980, and has remained in syndication to ...more

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17
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz

Premiered: 1981

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 146

Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police ...more

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#365 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #49 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

18
Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago

Premiered: 1984

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 111

Miami Vice is an American television drama series created by Anthony Yerkovich and produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson as James "Sonny" Crockett and Philip ...more

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#289 of 449 The Best Duos of All Time #86 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time #13 of 67 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series

19
Heroes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman, Milo Ventimiglia

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 77

Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, 2006 through February 8, 2010. The series tells the ...more

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20
The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 156

The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin that was originally broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1999, to May 14, 2006. The series is set ...more

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#98 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch Ranking the Best Seasons of 'The West Wing'listed on Longest Running US Drama Shows

21
This Is Us is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown

Premiered: 2016

This Is Us (NBC, 2016) is an American television series created by Dan Fogelman. Follows a unique ensemble, as their paths cross and their life stories interwine, from sharing the same birthday, ...more

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#106 of 157 TV Shows Most Loved by African-Americans #197 of 263 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time The Best Characters on This Is Us, Ranked

22
Chicago P.D. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
miskolc added Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Sophia Bush

Premiered: 2014

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 2

Chicago P.D. (NBC, 2014) is an American police procedural drama television series created by Dick Wolf and Matt Olmstead. The show follows the Chicago Police Department uniformed cops who patrol ...more

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#230 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #38 of 67 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series Best Seasons of Chicago P.D.

23
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
RobLein added Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Leo G. Carroll

Premiered: 1964

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 105

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January 15, 1968. It follows secret agents, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, who ...more

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#317 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #209 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

24
Quincy, M.E. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Jack Klugman, John S. Ragin, Robert Ito

Premiered: 1976

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 148

Quincy, M.E. is an American television series from Universal Studios that aired from October 3, 1976, to September 5, 1983, on NBC. It stars Jack Klugman in the title role, a Los Angeles County ...more

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#50 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows #28 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows #66 of 171 The Best Mystery TV Shows

25
Manifest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best NBC Dramas of All Time
Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis
Manifest (NBC, 2018) is an American drama television series created by Jeff Rake and Matthew Fernandes. When Montego Air Flight 828 lands safely after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew ...more